Search This Blog

Friday, October 8, 2010

The witching hour approaches

In North America, the Christian feast of All Hallows Eve has become Halloween. In reality, the Christian feast was purposely set to obliterate an older celebration called Samhain. Samhain is a pagan sabbat that marks the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. It was thought to be a time when the veil between the worlds of the dead and the living was very thin.

Modern Halloween rituals retain some of that spookiness, but the most prevalent ritual is to dress in costume. Kids dress in costume and go "trick or treating," walking from door to door in their neighbourhood (or these days sometimes in an office or mall for safety) and obtaining candy and other treats from the neighbours who answer the door. More recently, adults have gotten into the act. Adult Halloween parties abound.

If you're not yet out as trans, one thing that Halloween allows is dressing in clothes typical of the opposite sex. Even some non-trans people go for this. It also tends to be a night when women—and maybe some men—dress as slutty as possible. Halloween is a vehicle for normally hidden sexuality and gender issues to come to the surface.

My partner and I hadn't been all that big on Halloween for many years, but in 2007, when I was out to very few people, I did indeed take advantage of the night. Instead of me being the pirate and my partner being the pirate wench, we did it the other way around. She made a short but fearsome pirate! And I had a great time being the wench.

I'm past that now, and maybe you are as well. A friend's band is doing a Halloween-themed show at a local club, and we might go to that. But I have no inclination to do anything like drab! I'm thinking Mad Men—my 1960s-ish dress, (faux) pearls, nice pumps, and my hair up with tons of hairspray. Given my shape, more Megan than Joan. :)

What will you do, if anything, for Halloween?


  1. Ah, the North American Halloween. As packaged up and sold to the British public in a multitude of films or cartoons such as Charlie Brown and the Simpsons.

    When I grew up, trick or treat was unknown in Britain. Things were very much more based on my parents/grandparents childhoods. An Edwardian world of pixies and elves and knights and dragons.

    We would make pictures out of fallen leaves. We had wonderful parties with friends and relatives. We would make our own costumes out of paper, sheets or blankets then guess who each other were.

    And games. Conkers, toe fighting, bobbing the apple, guessing what the smelly things were hanging in socks on a washing line.

    Now when I go out to the supermarket weeks before Halloween I see lines of pre-packaged costumes and masks. Halloween in a box.

    There are some young children being taken around by parents to friend houses to emulate the American trick or treating experience. However all I get is ill mannered teenagers, not in costume, making demands with menace and abuse at all hours.

    I spend most of my Halloween hiding behind the sofa with the lights off.

    Thank you America ... Bah, humbug (insert more appropriate Halloween sweet here)

  2. Christianne (aka, Doc Morbius) is coming into town from halfway across the country to spend the weekend with me! We're both Halloween geeks so it should be a riot. :-)

    The Friday before is my annual Halloween movie party. I've spent a huge amount of time tracking down programming for it and hopefully it'll be the best one ever. I've found some really obscure stuff this year, so that's kind of exciting. Still have to sort out the menu though.

    Saturday there's a film festival in Ann Arbor featuring locally made and independent horror film shorts. Seems like that'll be our Devil's Night destination.

    Not sure about Halloween proper but with Christi and I together, there will no doubt be elaborate cooking involved.

  3. My wife and I honeymooned in Salem, MA on Halloween. It's our favorite holiday. This year, she's making faerie costumes for us all. I'm going to be some manner of unseeley sprite. At work, I'm going to be my best version of Severus Snape.


The People - Personal Thoughts

Cobweb Corner - Older Blogs, Not Recently Updated